Directed by Meghna Gulzar

The Hindi show ‘Talvar’ ,released on 02.09.2015, has brought alive the ghosts of the disreputable ‘Arushi Talwar- Hemraj’ double murder case of 2008 into give-and-take once more. On 16.05.2008,14 year old Arushi Talwar was found dead in her room in her Noida flat, and also the body of the house servant Hemraj was discovered at the terrace of the flat next day. The CBI Court found the oldsters of Arushi, Dr.Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar, guilty for the double murders.( Judgment dated 26.11.2013 in Sessions Trial No. 477 of 2012, Court of Special decide, CBI, Ghaziabad),

The endeavour here is not to test the validity of the judgment in the light of the revelations in the movie, as it would be a puerile and egregious exercise. The attempt herein is to juxtapose the information revealed in the movie with the factual circumstances unfurled in the judgment so as to examine whether there are any missing links in the chain of events, and thereby to ask whether the call for a wider probe and further investigation into the matter is warranted or not. In other words, merely to analyse whether the issue has attained a proper sense of closure.
The movie, directed by Meghna Gulzar and scripted by the Vishal Bharadwaj, attempts to shed light into the areas which were omitted by the investigation. It follows the docu-fiction pattern, documenting the events pertaining to the case with certain fictionalizations to render it suitable to cinematic medium. There were three teams which carried out the investigation, one by the State Police, and two by the CBI, and the film presents the versions of the three teams before the audience, and leaves it to the audience to draw their own conclusions. Some critics have compared the movie’s narrative style to that of Japanese classic “Rashomon” directed by the Akira Kurasowa, wherein multiple versions of a single incident are weaved together to present a multifaceted account of truth to the audience.

The genesis of crime.

The viewers get introduced to the crime scene with the arrival of housemaid, and her inability to open the outer mesh door. She finds the door latched from outside. At this juncture, it’s pertinent to see the discussion of the proof of Bharti Mandal, the real life housemaid, at pages 86 to 91 of the judgment. It seems that the housemaid oust before the Court that the door wasn’t latched from outside, contrary to her initial statement before the police. She conjointly admitted in her cross examination that she was deposing as per the instruction of investigation officer, clearly suggesting that she had been schooled. However, the Court dismissed such inconsistencies associate degreed discrepancies on the bottom that she was an “illiterate and bucolic woman from the lower strata” which her testimony ought to not be discarded on the idea of inconsistencies.

The local police received at the crime scene pictured as concluding the method with callous carelessness and unskillfulness. They didn’t enclose the crime scene, leading to the finger prints and also the rhetorical proof obtaining mutilated thanks to incessant flow of holiday makers. consistent with the police it absolutely was associate degree ‘open and shut case of murder committed by the missing servant Hemraj, and announces a gift for tracing him out. The police commit gross negligence in their failure to look at the terrace of the building, wherever the body of Hemraj had been lying since last hour. though a number of the guests rouse the eye of the police the presence of blood stains within the lock of terrace door and step railings, the law enforcement officials dismiss them as rust. it absolutely was solely on succeeding day by ten AM that the body of Hemraj was discovered within the terrace in a complicated state of putrefaction.

The discovery of the body of Hemraj each day later stricken a serious blow to the police, because it noticed severe unskillfulness on their half, and also the initial theory of servant killing the lady came crumbling down. coming back beneath severe media criticism and public pressure, the Police felt strained to search out an answer to the case at the earliest. Thus, the speculation of ‘honour killing’ was devised stating that the daddy killed each of them {in a|during a|in associate degree exceedingly|in a very} work of rage upon finding them in an “objectionable, if not a compromising, position” which the mother abetted and assisted the crime. That the Talwars slept throughout the night while not knowing the double murders that happened within the adjacent rooms was stated as a suspicious circumstance against them. the oldsters explained that they accustomed make out the doors and windows closed and also the cooling in their area was terribly rackety, creating it not possible to listen to voices from outside. Also, the actual fact that they mere the precise time of death of Arushi to the scholar at Haridwar before disposing off her ashes in Ganga was conjointly accustomed frame them. However, they explained that the approximate time of death was mentioned to the scholar as they were told that the time of death was necessary to be mentioned for the right performance of the rites. Anyway, the reasons offered by the oldsters weren’t heeded to and that they were framed, and a news conference was in haste needed saying the result. That triggered off a media onslaught, and also the character and dignity of the oldsters and also the deceased female offspring were ripped apart by publiciser media.

Charged with murder and destroying evidence

The court of additional district judge ordered to charged under Section 302 read with Section 34 murder with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 201 read with Section 34 (destruction of evidence with common intention) of the IPC. In addition to these, charges will also be under Section 203 (giving false information respecting to an offence committed).

Statutory provisions stutting this concept are: 

Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act states that the burden of proof lies on the person who has the knowledge of the fact. 
Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act states that the Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case. 
In this case, since the parents were the only 2 surviving inhabitants of the house, the burden of proof was shifted from prosecution to them as the court held that they could only hold the knowledge of the crime. The court presumed that the parents weren’t sleeping as the internet router was turned on quite a few times that night. 

This case is the perfect example which exposes flawed legal system, judgmental society and impatient media and why India’s Criminal Justice System Needs Reform


Banasthali University.